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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Five questions with Jesus Montero

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Mar 21, 2010 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Reassigned to minor league camp this afternoon, Jesus Montero hit .375/.444/.625 in just eight at-bats in big league camp. He had a total of one walk and three hits, two of them doubles, but the Yankees don’t need much more to believe in his bat. He’ll open the season in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hoping for a call-up that may or may not come before the end of the season.

jesusmontero

What was this experience like? Did you feel like this was a chance to get to know these guys in case the call-up comes this season?
Montero:
I’ve been here for three years already and everything is feeling really good. Right now I get to know everybody. Now they know me more than a couple of years ago. They know me more than a couple of years ago and I feel a lot better with the team. I’m ready for the opportunity. I’m waiting for the opportunity to be in the big leagues, this year or next year.

You hear all of these questions about staying behind the plate. How important is it to you that you stay there?
Montero: It is important for me because I want to catch in the big leagues. I want to catch all my life. I’m preparing myself for catching. I’m going to try to do my best behind the plate. I’m going to try to help the pitchers all the time. Try to win games… It feels good for me. I’m really happy with my position. For me, it’s the best to be behind the plate.

Is most of what you’re working on right now just the mechanics of the throw to second?
Montero: It’s just routines, trying to do the same thing every day. I’ve been doing that for three years or four years with the Yankees. Everything has been the same. Just try to work a little bit on everything. Blocking. Second base. All of that.

How do you describe your hitting approach?
Montero: My plan is just to hit the ball hard. That’s it. And see what’s going to happen when I hit the ball. I just try to relax and I have confidence, a lot of confidence all the time. I just try to feel good. I try to hit the ball hard, and that’s it.

Do you feel, right now, confident that it’s going to happen, that you’re going to get to the big leagues?
Montero: Oh yeah. I think this year I’m going to be there. I’m going to do the best in Scranton, so this year, I’m going to say, I’m going to be there.

 
 

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205 Responses to “Five questions with Jesus Montero”

  1. Rich in NJ March 21st, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I love the kid’s commitment to remaining at catcher. I hope it happens for him (and the Yankees).

  2. Tom in NJ March 21st, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    Dickey
    Yogi
    Elston
    Munson
    Posada
    Jesus

  3. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Betsy – Romine wasn’t built in a day
    March 21st, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Why would any team give up top prospects for Gonzalez only to let him walk? To get more draft picks? Picks that won’t be as far along as the prospects they gave up for him? I don’t see how that makes much sense.

    —————————–

    Betsy,

    It happens at the trade deadline every year. Like I said before, Gonzalez has great value because he is cheap for the next two playoffs.

    Our very own 1B was traded 2 times under this scenario. Our Ace was also traded to help during a playoff push.

  4. blake March 21st, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    As Randy said the other night, a big part of catching is wanting to do it.

    Hey chad, did you ask him if his bat was made from a tree that was struck by lightning?

  5. Mike March 21st, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    No reason not to keep him at catcher. He has shown he can be plausible back there. If Victor Martinez can catch, so can Montero.

  6. Benny Blanco March 21st, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Question,

    Lets say best case scenario is montero’s having a monster season. Do the yankeess bring call him up? And if so, would he be used as a DH? Just curious.

  7. RalphieD (OPPC) March 21st, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    i cant wait for our savior to arrive in the bronx

  8. MotiMo March 21st, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    I think if he comes up before September, it would mean injuries.

    It is nice seeing such a talented prospect at a position like Catcher.

  9. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    Red Sox, White Sox, A’s, Rays, Mariners, Rangers, DBacks, Braves, Dodgers, Mets, Giants could all be in on Gonzalez sometime in the next 2 years hoping to make the playoffs and/or finding a long term solution at 1B.

  10. Rich in NJ March 21st, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Lets say best case scenario is montero’s having a monster season. Do the yankeess bring call him up? And if so, would he be used as a DH? Just curious.

    My guess is that it would take an injury to NJ, Po, or Cervelli, or a significant underperformance by NJ or Cervelli, but I think there is an outside chance that he could come up very late in the season and be on the postseason roster, as a DH/PH/3rd catcher.

  11. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Montero a savior? Yankees are in god’s hands already.

    Yankees wont need Montero this year unless the team is in very very bad shape(knocks on wood).

    Point off question… How soon will Hector Nosei be in major? I am not happy with 40 man roster that is consist of Brackman, Wilkins, Garcia, Nova, Corona and Nosei. None of them are MLB ready. I think Nosei should be closest MLB ready although Nova is placed at higher level.

  12. blake March 21st, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Ideally I think they would like to keep him in AAA for the majority of the season to refine his catching skills so that hopefully he can step in and split time behind the plate with Posada in 2011.

    I agree that if we see him a lot in 2010 it will probably mean an injury has occurred and thats not really a good thing, plus he wouldn’t be getting the reps at catcher he needs.

  13. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Red Sox, White Sox, A’s, Rays, Mariners, Rangers, DBacks, Braves, Dodgers, Mets, Giants could all be in on Gonzalez sometime in the next 2 years hoping to make the playoffs and/or finding a long term solution at 1B.

    ==

    as FA, sure. Dbacks, Dodgers and Giants make a trade with Padres? Unlikely.

    Sandoval will be 3b permanently? If so then I like to see Giants have balls to get Howard and Phillies get Gonzo.

  14. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    mike rivera is an insurance for that position but his bat? :lol:

  15. KennyH123 March 21st, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    I gotta be honest.. watching Montero catch I see a lot of heart and desire, and he is not horrible back there. And he’s improving. But he’s very very big, and when he sets up, he presents a very high target. He’s just huge. Contrast with, say, Cervelli… his butt is almost touching the ground in the crouch, and his target is knee level or below. That’s a huge deal for a pitcher.
    Also, he does not have a “quiet” glove when catching the ball right now, as does a Molina, or Cervelli. There is a lot of movement. Guys with quiet gloves are expert framers. Nobody is better at that than Jose Molina. On the other hand, Posada is still terrible at it, so maybe its not that big a deal. And if Montero hits like he should, maybe nobody will really care.
    The real question is whether the Yankees can win with him catching. If he has a few decifiencies behind the plate, but murders AL pitching, then yeah I’d say they’d be fine with him behind the dish.

  16. MTU(aka GBURL) March 21st, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Montero’s bat speed has been calculated at WARP 1.

    His power equivalent to a 100 megaton bomb.

    The Man defies the laws of Physics regularly. :)

  17. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    “as FA, sure. Dbacks, Dodgers and Giants make a trade with Padres? Unlikely.”

    Hoyer is no dummy. He is going to take the best package available if he plans on trading his star whether it is from in his own division or league. This trade (if it happens) can potentially define his tenure as the Pads GM and have implications on the rest of his career.

  18. tjd - Yankees again in 2010! March 21st, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    no shot he sticks at catcher with that body frame. big catchers are the exception not the norm, especially with the more defensively sound Romine right behind him.

  19. MTU(aka GBURL) March 21st, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    Gotta love Montero’s approach to hitting.

    It’s rather complex.

    He says, “I try to hit the ball hard”. “I try to hit the ball hard”.

    No Sh-t Jesus. Really. You ? :)

  20. Phil the Thrill March 21st, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Just keep hitting the ball hard, kid.

  21. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Hoyer is no dummy. He is going to take the best package available if he plans on trading his star whether it is from in his own division or league. This trade (if it happens) can potentially define his tenure as the Pads GM and have implications on the rest of his career.

    ==

    Hoyer may take the best offer on the table even it comes from within the division but those teams may resist to giving up decent and cheap prospects/players to rival team.

  22. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    it’s always been my impression pitchers like big catchers.

    i always would put on twenty pounds when i caught just because it felt better catching at that size.

    lots of pitchers like bigger catchers.

  23. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    no shot he sticks at catcher with that body frame. big catchers are the exception not the norm, especially with the more defensively sound Romine right behind him.

    ===

    no kidding. I really wish he was RF.

  24. MTU(aka GBURL) March 21st, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    When pressed Jesus added the following.

    “I try to hit the ball hard”

    If I don’t hit it hard enough the first time. I just hit it harder the second time.

    If I don’t hit it hard enough the first time or the second time I hit it even harder the 3rd time.

    By the time I get my final at bat I have hit the ball so hard everybody looks at me funny. I don’t understand why. I just hit the ball hard that’s all.

    :)

  25. gianthinker March 21st, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Next season’s starting catcher….Jesus!

  26. South Coast March 21st, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    Watching him… he isin’t agile enough to catch and his footwork is a mess.

    Stick him in RF and call it a day….

  27. blake March 21st, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    “Watching him… he isin’t agile enough to catch and his footwork is a mess.
    Stick him in RF and call it a day….”

    ???

  28. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    “Watching him… he isin’t agile enough to catch and his footwork is a mess.
    Stick him in RF and call it a day….”

    it’s way too early for that judgement.

    he looks ok to me.

    i’ve said before that a player can have a slow lower body and a fast upper body.

    think graig nettles.

    montero can do a lot with that quick upper body he has, and he is quick up there.

    yes his legs look slow, but like nettles, fast hands and a good arm make up for a lot.

    a player that tall can look slower than he is too.

    montero has quite a wing span for reaching pitches.

    just like a first baseman , it can matter sometimes.

    i think he’s going to be the yankees primary catcher when posada is finished.

  29. Rich in NJ March 21st, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    It’s not like we are used to having watched a great defensive catcher in Posada.

  30. blake March 21st, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve only seen Montero catch a few times but he looked much better than has been advertised to me. I really have seen nothing that would make me think he can’t stick there.

  31. Ythan March 21st, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Jose Molina 6’2″ 235
    Jesus Montero 6’4″ 225

    If he can’t catch it’s not because of his size. He’s only going to get better.

  32. Bronx Jeers March 21st, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    His approach to hitting reminds me of Sheffield’s.

    Hit the ball hard. Real hard. Then you run. Sometimes you can jog.

  33. m March 21st, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    :lol:

    I recharged my batteries with a nap. So I’m ready to duel. What’s the topic of the day?

  34. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Montero’s current size offers a short term behind the plate. He is only 20 years old so he will get bigger as he ages. His legs are too thick to be moving around. It will be a miracle if he does not get bigger and slower next 5 years.

    Montero has to sign up for a dance class annually.

  35. m March 21st, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Sorry, that :lol: is at Rich’s last comment. Not because I’m re-energized.

  36. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    No Hector Nosei answer? How far do you guys have knowledge of Yankees? Scranton level and popular names only?

  37. m March 21st, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I’ve never been so happy to be dunked on like that by a player. Shawn Livingston’s back in the league. Thank goodness. That was the most horrible on-court injury I’ve ever seen.

  38. m March 21st, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Who’s Hector Nosei? No se, no se.

  39. Tarheelyank March 21st, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    “So I’m ready to duel. What’s the topic of the day?”

    Is Hawaii a real state?

    Alternate topic: why do real Yankee fans despise the Lakers?

  40. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Hoyer looks like he will do the same thing as Mariners have done. Just my opinion, mind you. Hoyer likes a small ball game with gap power. That means Padres may want some rangy defensive players for OF with above average arms. Does it sound like Mariners, no?

  41. Tarheelyank March 21st, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    j/k

    :D

    Put the claws away!

  42. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    Who’s Hector Nosei? No se, no se.

    Hector Noesi.

  43. Nick in SF March 21st, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    As sports fans, we have learned — often very painfully — that sometimes the forces of darkness prevail over the forces of light. All we can really do is wait for the next battle and hope that, eventually, justice will be done.

  44. m March 21st, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Nick,

    My only regret from today’s [battle] is that it had to be Cal. :(

  45. 50 Cents March 21st, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Teixeria’s contract expires when he is 27.

    Give Montero the next 7 years at catcher, then move him to 1st if he can’t hack it….

  46. Patrick March 21st, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Nick,

    I kind of like being the bad guys. The Evil Empire has a nice ring to it. And don’t forget, evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

    I love Montero’s approach at the plate. Just hit the ball hard. It’s impressive how much talent he has to hit the ball. I’m sure he has some kind of mental approach out there but to this point in his career he just thinks “Hit it hard” and it happens. Not many people can do that.

  47. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    So let me get this straight:

    Montero is not agile, his legs are too thick to be moving around, he is going to get bigger, and he is going to get slower.

    Yet, we want to move him to RF so he can be running around and tracking down fly balls.

  48. blake March 21st, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    LGY, the logic is spellbinding no…

  49. stuckey March 21st, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    I realize this doesn’t address his size, but I find it interesting to note that Jesus Montero is 20 years told.

    Jorge Posada was 20 when he became a catcher.

  50. Nick in SF March 21st, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Patrick, the Yankees are a whole different deal. New York — and New Yorkers — and history a demand a winner.

    Richard Nixon’s law school has no such historic mandate.

  51. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    LGY.. I dont think all of those details come from same person.

  52. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Damn. I have googled all night to get solid information about Hector Noesi. Only AOL fanhouse liked him because of his ratio. thats it. how disappointing.

  53. m March 21st, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    I don’t know anything about Hector Noesi. Can you share what you found out? And why are you so excited about him and his ETA in the Bronx?

  54. Jerkface March 21st, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Montero has an almost preternatural ability to barrel the ball. Its sick. Also I think he will catch, I don’t know what those guys were saying about him not having ‘soft hands’. The big pluses for Montero I have heard the last year are:

    - Plus arm strength
    - Good pitcher/catcher relationship/game calling (in so much as a minor league catcher can call a game)
    - soft hands, good framing

    His problem has always been footwork on throwing and blocking.

    He is never going to be a pudge type catcher hurling his body sideways to block a hard slider, but I think he will be good enough.

    He has desire, and he works hard. Sometimes thats all you need.

  55. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    blake,

    It really is.

    I agree with you. He looks much better than advertised.

  56. Nick in SF March 21st, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    m, Duke has talent. I can’t say that the better team didn’t win today.

  57. MTU(aka GBURL) March 21st, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    “He looks much better than advertised.”

    He not only looks better he is better.

    Just wait till you see him put his Ultimo swing on a few balls.

    They’ll find ‘em orbiting Pluto. :)

  58. CB March 21st, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Montero is a player for whom comparison’s and precendent’s are very difficult to come by. That makes predictions of his future difficult.

    He has staggering bat speed. There is no two ways about it. And on top of that he has outstanding strike zone control and pitch recognition.

    He has an elite swing. The main question on him is whether he’s going to continue to learn to how to hit the ball with more back spin. That’s the only question. That’s what’s going to define how many home runs he can hit. But that’s the main issue in doubt. But that’s simply an uncertainty related to home run hitting. That bat is simply special.

    There is a very high probability of Montero sticking behind the plate. You can’t look at his defense as if it is an independent entity.

    His defense and ability to stay behind the plate will always be directly connected to the capacity of his bat and his desire to stay behind the plate.

    He is going to generate such massive relative advantage for the yankees behind the plate that the incentives to keep him there are enormous. He would have to be horrendous back there for them to move him off the position.

    And this spring we’ve seen that he’s not horrible.

    If Montero is able to make himself even an average defensive player behind the plate he as a shot to be one of the top 5 players in all of baseball by the time he’s 25-26.

  59. m March 21st, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    nick,

    Did your wallet have a good day? Did you go with Cornell? :lol:

  60. blake March 21st, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    CB, good post. One thing thats encouraging to me that he will learn to spin the ball is that he hits to all fields as well as he does. Usually that means the guy can stay inside the ball which is key to creating backspin. He’s got a good guy to learn that skill from in Arod, but you’re right that will be a key thing in determining how many homers he hits.

  61. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    “It’s not like we are used to having watched a great defensive catcher in Posada.”

    it’s not like many fan bases watch great defensive catchers.

    great by definition is a limited commodity.

    we did get to watch one of the best overall catchers of his generation.

    i’m sick of posada bashing.

  62. Nick in SF March 21st, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I did take Cornell — funny? — both for recreational purposes and on my bracket. I went on the record with that a couple days ago.

    I played everything very lightly but it all went well. I thought the Cal line should’ve been +7.5/8.5, not the 6.5 it was, so I only played that in a teaser at +16.5 — a garbage time winner, it turned out.

    (I also, um… had Duke in my bracket :( )

  63. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Trenton is not considered a very hitter friendly ballpark, correct?

    What about Scranton?

  64. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Montero doesn’t necessarily have a lot of backspin with his hits. He just hits hogh line drives…simply put, he just overpowers the ball. Definately not homer crazy or pull crazy. The ball just carries. A combination of brute strength and bat speed. Only a slight upper cut. He’s really scary when hit hits liners back through the box. Pitchers quake in their spikes.

  65. pistol pete March 21st, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    I hope he’s good because Mauer is not going to free agency Minnesota just signed him to an 8 yr 184m contract extension. Posada’s got a yr left and maybe will be a dh/catcher for a year or so after that. It’s going to be Montero in 2012.

  66. stuckey March 21st, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Here’s a question – when has a bat the potential of Montero had the opportunity in his formative years to bat in same line-up with one of the greatest bats of all-time, and from the same side of the plate no less?

  67. blake March 21st, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    I saw Duke a lot this year. All it will take is an off shooting night and they will be sent packing for Durham. They live and die by the 3, when they are falling they are tough to beat, when they aren’t they are very vulnerable.

  68. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    He just hits ***high*** line drives

  69. CB March 21st, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Montero has a relatively flat swing plane. A terrific and rather dramatic comparison between two hitters is Montero and Teixeira.

    They have completely different swings and mechanics. Two completely different models for how a power hitter hits and what trade off’s he’s willing to make.

    This might sound crazy, but Montero has a better swing than Tex does.

    The issue of back spin with Montero is a real one. If he does learn to hit with more back spin (which he may or may not be able to do) then Montero could be a very comparable hitter to Alex.

  70. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Tex-A-Rod-Montero 8-O

  71. Rich in NJ March 21st, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    “i’m sick of posada bashing.”

    Wait. You honestly think that my post was meant to bash Posada?

    It is merely a statement of fact that was meant to provide context to the way people evaluate Montero’s defensive development and his ability to remain at catcher.

    Posada is a borderline HoFer as a result of his offense; I’m thrilled that he has remained a lifelong Yankee.

    But early in his career, some of the Yankees’ starters didn’t want to throw to him. He has never been good at framing pitches, blocking the plate from incoming base runners (as a result of a mL injury), and blocking pitches in the dirt.

    In contrast, I think his ability to call a game and throw out runners attempting to steal a base has often been underrated.

    That’s the reality.

  72. blake March 21st, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Arod creates unbelievable backspin, the ball just carries and carries and carries until a fan catches it.

  73. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    “Here’s a question – when has a bat the potential of Montero had the opportunity in his formative years to bat in same line-up with one of the greatest bats of all-time, and from the same side of the plate no less?”

    mantle with dimaggio, off the top of my head.

  74. blake March 21st, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    “Here’s a question – when has a bat the potential of Montero had the opportunity in his formative years to bat in same line-up with one of the greatest bats of all-time, and from the same side of the plate no less?”

    Gehrig/Ruth, Gardner/Winn, theres two.

  75. m March 21st, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Nick,

    No need to apologize for Duke. They have an easy bracket. A lot of the heavy hitters/dark horses + the favorite have lost.

  76. CB March 21st, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    “Arod creates unbelievable backspin, the ball just carries and carries and carries until a fan catches it.”

    That shot off Porcello was classic Alex. What a swing.

    That’s been the big difference between Alex’s swing and Manny Ramirez. Both have amazing swing’s – but Alex has hit more home runs because he generates more back spin on the ball than Manny, who has a flatter swing plane.

  77. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Two players of recent vintage that hit line drives like Montero’s and, this is only a comparison of how hard he hits the ball, is Frank Thomas and Dave winfield. Liners everywhere but if you groove one, he’s going to launch it a long way.

    For those that have ever been to Grayson Stadium in Savannah, GA, he hit two high liners threw the pine trees just to the left of center field in one game that crossed the street, at age of 18.

    Check out the red sign in left center. that’s where they cleared.

    http://www.ballparkreviews.com/savan/savan.htm

  78. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Trenton is not considered a very hitter friendly ballpark, correct?

    ===

    Eastern League usually is on pitchers’ side. Not sure about Scranton but I think it sides with hitters.

  79. m March 21st, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Parting thoughts:

    Manager JOE GIRARDI, a former catcher, especially liked what he saw from Montero. “He’s made strides in his catching,” Girardi said. “He can really hit. He’s a young man, like Romine, who needs to go play, mature, learn the finer points of catching and the pitcher-catcher relationship, those type of things. I was impressed with both of their work, their willingness to learn, their ability to take what you give them and try to apply it.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03.....f=baseball

  80. Boston Dave - XXVII March 21st, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    “Montero could be a very comparable hitter to Alex.”

    ————

    like ARod, but catching…. gulp :)

  81. blake March 21st, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    If you listened to Mcgwire’s steroid interview and got through all the steroid talk he mentioned a few good baseball points about how he learned to create back spin throughout his career.

    I know most people just dismissed it because he was the one saying it, but he was correct about being short and swinging through the ball. He and Bonds may have been on the juice but they both could backspin the heck out of the ball.

  82. CB March 21st, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    “Two players of recent vintage that hit line drives like Montero’s and, this is only a comparison of how hard he hits the ball, is Frank Thomas and Dave winfield.”

    Frank Thomas is really the guy who comes to mind when you see Montero – both his size and swing.

    Thomas didn’t hit with much back spin either.

    Winfield is a good thought as well – the screaming line drives I can definitely see. But I think Montero’s swing is shorter and more compact than Winfield’s. Winfield’s swing could get very long.

  83. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    “Wait. You honestly think that my post was meant to bash Posada?”

    it’s difficult to read tone on line.

    if that wasn’t what you meant, no problem.

    i agree about posada being a borderline hall of fame candidate.

  84. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    CB, Tex is an elite player already; what do you mean by saying that Montero has a better swing? I just don’t buy the comparison to Alex because Alex has already done it; people already want to put Montero in the HOF.

  85. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    No matter how good of a catcher Montero turns out to be, he’ll never get recognition for anything but his bat by the media and other team scouts and most fans.

  86. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    bobby bonds hit some amazing line drives.

  87. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    I probably shouldn’t get too attached to Romine, lol.

  88. Boston Dave - XXVII March 21st, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    “people already want to put Montero in the HOF.”

    ————

    I agree some people may be getting a little too excited too quickly, but I don’t think that’s what CB meant.

    He is comparing mechanics, size, strength, etc.

  89. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    CB
    March 21st, 2010 at 10:54 pm
    “Two players of recent vintage that hit line drives like Montero’s and, this is only a comparison of how hard he hits the ball, is Frank Thomas and Dave winfield.”

    Frank Thomas is really the guy who comes to mind when you see Montero – both his size and swing.

    Thomas didn’t hit with much back spin either.

    Winfield is a good thought as well – the screaming line drives I can definitely see. But I think Montero’s swing is shorter and more compact than Winfield’s. Winfield’s swing could get very long.

    ————————————————————

    Yep. That’s really all I was going for. The strength of those liners. Pitchers and infielders will be sure to carry plenty of health and dental insurance. Those same liners get the outfielders because they get to or past them so fast. The balls right at the outfielders do tend to knuckle on them.

  90. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Betsy,

    I’m not comparing Montero to Tex or Alex as players. Montero still needs to prove everything at the major league level. Tex is an all star. In no way am I saying that Monteros is a better player than Tex or even will be. Chances are he won’t because most players never fulfill their potential.

    All I’m talking about are their swings. Just look at their swings.

    Montero has a more balanced swing than Tex does and I think Montero likely has more bat speed.

    Tex has a very odd swing. It works for him so that’s fine. But Tex generates power in a very strange way by collapsing his back leg in an extreme fashion to generate loft. It works for him and that’s why he hits home runs. But it also has real drawbacks – and we saw some of that in the playoffs.

  91. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    That’s not how I read it, Boston, but by “people” I wasn’t just referring to CB. Overall the hype on Montero is over the top; I’m going to wait until he performs before I say he’s as good as Tex, Alex, Frank Thomas, etc..I get that his name is Jesus, so he’s got nicknames like “the savior” in his future, but people are already thinking of him that way now and it’s unfair. He won’t be allowed to struggle at all – he’s supposed to just come to the majors and completely dominate.

  92. Jerkface March 21st, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    I’ll take Montero’s natural swing and a high .300′s average with 30 HRs than trying to mess with him to squeeze out an extra 10 or 15 homers.

    If Kevin Long thinks he can do something for Montero without breaking him, go for it, but not everyone can be A-rod with the monstrous batspin his natural swing develops.

  93. Jerkface March 21st, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Obviously thats backspin, not bat spin. Though I like to see his bat spin on the bat flips when he crushes one in Fenway

  94. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    CB, ok thanks for explaining. I just don’t want the kid to have any undue pressure put on him. I should have known you weren’t comparing them as players yet……..but I really wasn’t just referring to you. Fans need to calm down about Montero….

  95. Jerkface March 21st, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Betsy: Montero is like Hughes in the minors, if Hughes legitimately sat 95-96 and had 3 secondary plus pitches. He just has too many plus tools offensively to not be good.

    Doesnt strike out, hits for average, hits for power, good strike zone discipline, able to barrel almost any ball.

    I’m gonna hype him up so hard!!

  96. blake March 21st, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Tex doesn’t have a particuarly pretty swing from either side of the plate, but its really productive and works for him. You can do things mechanically wrong and still succeed if you keep your hands back, head still, and are as big and strong as Teixera is.

  97. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    “I’ll take Montero’s natural swing and a high .300’s average with 30 HRs than trying to mess with him to squeeze out an extra 10 or 15 homers.”

    I agree. All I was commenting on was what I saw was one of the uncertainties with Montero is.

    He has the power and bat speed to hit 40+ home runs – I don’t know if he has the swing to do that however.

    Not a big deal in any way. Just an uncertainty and something to follow.

    Many young hitters have to learn how to hit with more back spin as they mature.

    Maeur did it this past year.

  98. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    One thing about Tex, though – he had a terrific post-season in Anaheim. CB, are you saying that his swing has holes in it that better pitching can take advantage of or are you just saying that because his swing is unusual Tex can get into funks that he might take awhile to break out of? I suspect it’s closer to the latter than the former because we all know that Tex is a tremendous hitter and it’s not like he only hits bad pitching.

    I love these conversations as I feel like I’m getting an education – Baseball 101, lol.

  99. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    Betsy – Romine wasn’t built in a day
    March 21st, 2010 at 10:56 pm
    I probably shouldn’t get too attached to Romine, lol.

    ————————————————————

    Romine is going to be a fine catcher and hitter…something along the lines of AJ Pierzynski, I’d think, but, with foot speed. I can see NYY carrying three catchers that play multiple positions, with Cervelli playing the 4 corners like Romine, as well as catch and DH. Cervelli’s defense is no surprise, but, his bat shocked me. Not a lot of power, but, a good line drive hitter that can bunt and play defense as a catcher is worth a lot. Given the sporatic playing time he had last year, he was very good. Same with Pena on the infield. They have a lot of value to a veteran championship team.

  100. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    I don’t know anything about Hector Noesi. Can you share what you found out? And why are you so excited about him and his ETA in the Bronx?

    ===

    Noesi ended last year with Tampa team and was protected by Yankees against Rule 5 draft. Why did Yankees protect him instead of Kroneke(sp? southpaw reliever)? Moesi has good FIP and his K:BB ratio is excellent. He is basically the same as Ivan Nova with better control but he is one level behind due to coming off from TJS.

    I just need to know whether or not Noesi is on the fast track for this year. Right now, all I know is he will be with Tampa and then Trenton by the all star break. McAllister and Bleich are already ahead of Noesi but they are not on 40 man roster. Yankees basically have only Nova in their backup plan this year and I am not sold on Nova. I may be okay with Noesi if he is on the fast track program.

    players on 40 man roster are worthless:

    1. Garcia (rehab program).
    2. Noesi (begins with Tampa).
    3. Corona (possibly begins with Trenton again).
    4. Brackman (begins with Charleston or Tampa).
    5. De La Rosa (begins with Trenton as a starter).

    I am sure they are expendable any time but that is lot.

  101. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    boston dave-

    i don’t pay much attention to minor leaguers simply because few are going to make it to the yankees.

    so i don’t know montero’s stats.

    what i know is one swing the other day when i was watching montero and expecting him to be good because of all the blog reports on him.

    my eyes were shocked by how fast his swing was and how quick he turned on that pitch for that double.

    i’ve seen a lot of good hitters up close from behind the plate- mcrae,oliver, cedeno, nettles.willie mays aikens, cruz sr and i have a visual expectation for bat speed and how quick a swing is launched.

    montero just blew me away. just shocked me how quick he is.

  102. Mike March 21st, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Montero is going to be an absolute stud. He has no weaknesses in his offensive game.

    I could see him hitting 5th next year behind A-Rod.

  103. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Jerkface, I didn’t like the way I worded that. I would hate to take away fans’ enthusiasm for such a prospect – however, the Hughes comparison is actually pretty apt. Look at what Phil did in the minors – he was the crown jewel. Thanks to his August of 2007, fans lost all patience with him. Many fans still think of Phil as that soft-tossing guy who’s ceiling is no longer better than a #3. I just believe that if Montero gets off to a slow start whenever he arrives in NY – well, the fans are going to freak out.

    Actually, I think I misread your post. Are you saying Phil should not have been the #1 prospect because he was overhyped?

  104. Azaz March 21st, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    betsy doesnt know what shes talking about like usual

  105. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Montero wants to hit not just for a home run. Dont change him. Paul O’Neil type. Just dont teach him how to do upper cut.

  106. blake March 21st, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    “my eyes were shocked by how fast his swing was and how quick he turned on that pitch for that double.”

    That ball was by the left fielder and to the wall pretty much before the guy had a chance to move. ST isn’t about numbers, its about seeing which guys can do things like that.

  107. Patrick March 21st, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Dude chill, Betsy is just asking questions.

  108. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Blake, maybe that’s why he gets off to such slow starts; maybe Tex’s odd swing needs some time to calibrate itself. I belive in letting a player do what comes naturally to him. Tex’ swing works for him – fantastic, leave it alone. Lincecum’s delivery works for him – leave it alone. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

  109. Nick in SF March 21st, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Tex’s secret is he uses his :shock: face when he swings.
    (I used :shock: ‘cos there’s no emoticon for ‘O face’ — is there?)

  110. EA March 21st, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Montero is like Cano… can get out of bed and hit .300. Except Montero can do it with more power.

  111. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    “are you saying that his swing has holes in it that better pitching can take advantage of or are you just saying that because his swing is unusual Tex can get into funks that he might take awhile to break out of?”

    His swing is prone to get him into funk’s – that’s the primary point i was making.

    That said, Tex does have holes in his swing that can be exploited. Not a big deal – most hitters, even all stars do.

    That’s the difference between say players on the Pujols, Alex, Utley, Mauer level and the Teixeira level.

    The same reason why Tex hits so many home runs is also why he tends to roll over on the ball and have some trouble with off speed stuff. Those two results – home runs and rolling over on the ball – are directly connected with Tex.

  112. Rich in NJ March 21st, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    “betsy doesnt know what shes talking about like usual”

    Is that really necessary?

    I’ll answer my own question: it’s not. It’s a gratuitous insult.

  113. ShamdoYanks March 21st, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    is this true!? Joba out of the 5th starter mix!?

    http://zellspinstripeblog.com/.....mpetition/

  114. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    CB
    March 21st, 2010 at 11:01 pm
    Betsy,

    I’m not comparing Montero to Tex or Alex as players. Montero still needs to prove everything at the major league level. Tex is an all star. In no way am I saying that Monteros is a better player than Tex or even will be. Chances are he won’t because most players never fulfill their potential.

    All I’m talking about are their swings. Just look at their swings.

    Montero has a more balanced swing than Tex does and I think Montero likely has more bat speed.

    Tex has a very odd swing. It works for him so that’s fine. But Tex generates power in a very strange way by collapsing his back leg in an extreme fashion to generate loft. It works for him and that’s why he hits home runs. But it also has real drawbacks – and we saw some of that in the playoffs.

    ————————————————————

    For old timers or those that have watched clips of Mantle hitting from the left side, Teixeira has a very similar swing. Mantle’s got more pronounced because of knee injuries, though. Sometimes, it looks like they are swing straight up, and when the connect, they get frequent flyer miles. They also top a lot of pitches or swing over them.

  115. blake March 21st, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    “Blake, maybe that’s why he gets off to such slow starts; maybe Tex’s odd swing needs some time to calibrate itself”

    I think that has something to do with it, that and the fact that hes a switch hitter and has 2 swings to get in tune.

  116. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Thanks, Patrick, lol. Azaz, I assume you must have an IQ of about 300? You never have to ask a question? What the heck are you doing here if you are not interesting in conversing with people? If you get your hackles raised at other people conversing? You might be better off talking to your reflection as at least you know you won’t be getting any stupid answers.

  117. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    teixeria usually off start slow. Last year, He picked up right after Arod’s return.

  118. blake March 21st, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    “They also top a lot of pitches or swing over them.”

    like me today in my first round of golf since October.

  119. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    blake,

    That is interesting you mention the switch hitter thing. I was under the same impression as well. But, RAB had an article up a few weeks ago that debunks that theory.

    http://riveraveblues.com/2010/.....ers-24786/

  120. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    is this true!? Joba out of the 5th starter mix!?

    http://zellspinstripeblog.com/…..mpetition/

    ==

    I hate twitter but I am entirely happy if it is true.

  121. Jerkface March 21st, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Actually, I think I misread your post. Are you saying Phil should not have been the #1 prospect because he was overhyped?

    No, Hughes was amazing and will be very good, but Montero is above Hughes in my estimation of being able to reach his potential. If Hughes threw 95 mph steady, you’d probably say he is a lock to do great because of his control and command.

    Montero just has too many positives working for him offensively to not contribute at the major league level in a significant way.

    Most other hitting prospects have questions that need to be answered, Montero’s only question is how fast will he make it to the show in the next year.

  122. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Rich, it’s not only a gratuitious insult, but the punctuation is AWFUL. First, proper names always get a capital, so next time, Azas, call me Betsy and not betsy. He also didn’t use a period at the end of the sentence. Go back to school, Azaz.

  123. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    “my eyes were shocked by how fast his swing was and how quick he turned on that pitch for that double.”

    randy,

    I assume your referring to the double against the rays in the 9nth.

    I was out that evening and watched the end of the game because I wanted to see how Montero looked behind the plate.

    I almost fell out of my chair when he hit that double.

    But part of what I was so blown away by was what he did on the pitch before that.

    The pitcher started him off with a curve ball over the outside part of the plate. Montero recognized the pitch immediately and laid off of what was a good curve ball.

    He’s 20.

    He gets the count in his favor and then just as quickly recognizes fastball over the outside half, launches his bat with that unreal bat speed and proceed to crush the tar out of the ball.

    That was eye opening. That’s one of those terrific spring training moments when you get to watch how a player performs and that how is so much more important than the result of the performance.

  124. Rick March 21st, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    Jerkface – Agree! Montero is a step above

  125. blake March 21st, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    LGY,

    “His explanation (Teixera’s) involves working on two swings, one from each side of the plate, during spring training, so it takes him a bit of the season to get into a groove.”

    If Teixera thinks its a factor then it probably is. Just because others don’t share the same problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect him.

  126. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    “Montero is like Cano… can get out of bed and hit .300. Except Montero can do it with more power.”

    Montero doesn’t seem to be like Cano very much at all. He has much better strike zone command already.

  127. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    bat speed and quickness to the ball are something you can see with your eyes.

    i remember after watching the twins triple a team take game bp up close i asked the manager who the tall lefty hitter was.

    it was garret jones who was having a terrible year i later fond out, but the unusual bat speed was easy to see.

    it took him a while, but he hit 21 homers in his first real shot in the majors last year with the pirates.

    montero is a major jump up from jones who can really accelerate the bat head. i’m officially on the montero bandwagon too.

  128. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Jerkface, please don’t take my posts to mean that Montero won’t be great. I’m just trying to ratchet down the hype a bit because he’s still a kid and the pressure by Yankee fans for him to be perfect right off the bat will be enormous. I’m just going to enjoy watching him hit without comparing him to anyone…

    Ok, I think I get what you’re saying about Phil…I don’t think he needs to throw 95 to be great, but you’re saying that if he did, along with his fantastic command, he’d be better? Perhaps……but how many pitchers throw that hard with that kind of command?

  129. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Hughes and Montero are apples and oranges.

    I remembered when they drafted Hughes in the first round and Garcia somewhere after 2nd round. The words around in scouting community said Garcia had higher ceiling than Hughes. For few years, Hughes dealt with Tabata and Jackson for being top prospect. Tabata and Jackson had no power.

    Montero has clear cut power and no one can topple him. Montero is a true top prospect. Hughes was just being a top prospect by default.

  130. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Montero has the sort of talent to be a manager’s signature player. McCarthy had DiMaggio, Stengel had Mantle, Houk had Murcer and Munson. Torre had Jeter and Posada. Montero might be Girardi’s. The one player that people point to and call him “Girardi’s boy” or “Casey’s boy”.

  131. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    “maybe that’s why he gets off to such slow starts; maybe Tex’s odd swing needs some time to calibrate itself”

    Just a hunch – but I think it may be due to a related factor – timing and pitch recognition.

    For Tex – more than for most hitters – pitch recognition and timing are critical. That dramatic upper cut swing plane of his gives him very little room for error in timing pitches, especially off speed pitches.

    He may just need to get accostomed to seeing major league quality pitching again to get that delicate timing down.

  132. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Montero has the sort of talent to be a manager’s signature player. McCarthy had DiMaggio, Stengel had Mantle, Houk had Murcer and Munson. Torre had Jeter and Posada. Montero might be Girardi’s. The one player that people point to and call him “Girardi’s boy” or “Casey’s boy”.

    ====

    Ironically, Girardi is a sucker for pitching.

  133. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    For one thing, Montero has longer arms than Cano and can reach pitches on the fringes of the strike zone without moving his body. Neither will ever walk a lot, but, they’ll mash a lot of baseballs.

  134. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    I think another good comparison to Jerkface’s point about Montero is Casey Kelly.

    Kelly is hugely hyped right now but a lot of that hype is predicated on the assumption he is going to add a few ticks to his fastball. Without that added velocity there is very little chance that he becomes a front-line SP. What if he does not add that velocity? That is a huge question mark.

    So many of these “top prospects” every year have these often huge assumptions hanging over their head and I think it is a main reason why so many top prospects are busts or never reach their potential. Player A will fill out and develop more power, B will improve his discipline at the plate, C will develop his secondary pitches, etc.

    Offensively, Montero does not have any of those question marks or assumptions.

  135. ARK $$ March 21st, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    That sequence in the Rays game was just jaw-dropping. The kid is 20 years old and his approach is so advanced. As others have said, the fact he got the hit wasn’t even the best part.

    We have something special here, folks.

  136. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    “I almost fell out of my chair when he hit that double.”

    cb-

    i had the same reaction as i jumped up to the edge of my seat and went ” no way” out loud.

    watching one swing told me this guy is something special.

  137. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    “Sometimes, it looks like they are swing straight up, and when the connect, they get frequent flyer miles. They also top a lot of pitches or swing over them.”

    That’s exactly right. Never saw Mantle play but always read/ heard that his swing was very different right and left handed due to his knees. But that’s a great description of Tex.

    That quintessential Tex moment of 2009 in so many ways was that home run he hit at the stadium off Dan Bard in that wonderful series against Boston.

    That home runs just kept rising and rising and rising. It was amazing how much loft he had on that ball.

    But if Tex is a bit too early on his swing he’s going to do exactly what you described – top off on the ball and beat it into the ground.

  138. Mark D. March 21st, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    How many times will Montero walk in a full season? 50? 60?

  139. m March 21st, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Holy!

    Thanks for that. It’s great to have good arms “buried” in the system. Why? Because it’s better than not having them at all.

    Right now, there’s 5 legitimate candidates for the #5 starter. Melancon’s being “blocked” for now. That’s sick!

    Can’t wait to see some of these names show up in the bigs, but it looks like their time may be later than sooner.

  140. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    What if for some strange reason Montero had mightily struggled against Red Sox?

    That would suck, really. I dont mind Montero hitting 280 BA 25 HR per season if he owns Red Sox.

  141. MTU(aka GBURL) March 21st, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    I am going to bed soon but I wanted to express my gratitude.

    Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Montero.

    Thank you Venezuela.

    And Thank you Hugo Chavez for letting go of him.

    Viva Montero ! :)

  142. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Yeah right, Holy Yankee; Phil did squat in the minors.

  143. Patrick March 21st, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    “Montero doesn’t seem to be like Cano very much at all. He has much better strike zone command already.”

    I think he was referring to both guys’ natural hitting ability.

    I agree though, Montero has a higher ceiling simply due to power and better plate discipline.

  144. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Of the first basemen over the last 15-20 years, Pujols is the only one that I’d take ahead of Teixeira. His being a switch hitter really screws up any idea of lefty/righty relief in the game. That’s one major thing that NYY will miss when Posada and Swisher leave. Lineup flexibility while using the same players throughout the game. Switch hitters with power are instant gold.

  145. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    “If Teixera thinks its a factor then it probably is. Just because others don’t share the same problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect him.”

    ————————-

    blake,

    I agree, but I do not think it is because Tex is a switch hitter, but rather the type of hitter he is. Even if he was not a switch hitter he would probably still be a slow starter. Because of his very particular situation though the switch hitter thing probably does add to that.

    The point of the RAB post was to debunk the switch hitter theory in general. Tex makes it seem like it is a switch hitter problem and not a him problem. Also, if I recall correctly Singleton has said several times on air that Tex is correct about the switch hitter thing.

  146. Patrick March 21st, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    HolyYankee your take on Hughes is actually false. In 2006 and 2007 he was the Yankees’ consensus best prospect. In 2007 some publications had him in the top 5 prospects in baseball.

  147. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    CB, that makes sense……I think Tex’ father taught him to hit, so maybe that’s where he gets his unusual stance from.

    Blake, you mentioned the switch hitting thing. Tex said that he spoke to Bernie last spring and Bernie advised him to just concentrate hitting one way each day, to not switch back and forth. Tex thought that was great advice and went with it – then proceeded to get off to a worse than usual start, lol. Bernie’s advice was still good and perhaps Tex was just feeling the pressure of trying to do it all by himself. I know he’s determined to get off to a good start this spring – I hope he can do it because if he ever did, he’d really put up monstrous numbers.

  148. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    randy,

    I follow the minors fairly closely – not just the yankees but minor league ball on the whole. I know that the vast majority of guys – even hughely talented ones fail.

    But then there are this small handful of guys that are just shockingly good.

    The last player I felt that way – shocked by how good he was – was Justin Upton.

    That was another guy who had such tremendous hands and bat speed.

    Matt Kemp was close but he was still in some ways so raw at the plate that it was clear that he still had gaps that needed to be bridged.

    Montero is in that Upton class. His talent is through the roof.

    There’s alway hype. But this is a kid where there is substance behind the hype.

    You just see it immediately.

    And I can’t believe he’s a catcher. It’s just unreal.

  149. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    yeah… Melancon being blocked hurt.

    I usually am differential on what Yankees have done with 40 man roster. :lol:

    I just find out that Jose Ramirez is 22 years old. he is still in level A. Rule 5 draft eligibility? jesus!

  150. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 21st, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    “Hughes was just being a top prospect by default.”

    —————————

    According to Baseball America, Hughes was the top pitching prospect in all of baseball in 2007.

  151. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    HolyYankee your take on Hughes is actually false. In 2006 and 2007 he was the Yankees’ consensus best prospect. In 2007 some publications had him in the top 5 prospects in baseball.

    ===

    I spoke of being number one prospect. Look at list behind him… PPFFFTTT… believe me.

  152. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    1. Philip Hughes, rhp
    2. Eric Duncan, 3b/1b
    3. Jose Tabata, of
    4. C.J. Henry
    5. Austin Jackson, of
    6. Eduardo Nunez, ss
    7. Marcos Vechionacci, 3b
    8. Christian Garcia, rhp
    9. Jeff Marquez, rhp
    10. Tyler Clippard, rhp

    Come on! He was number one by default.

  153. randy l. March 21st, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    “And I can’t believe he’s a catcher. It’s just unreal.”

    and even better, he’s a yankee :)

  154. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    excuse me… that was 2006.

  155. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Ramirez just turned 20. You chose the wrong Jose Ramirez of the Yankees. They have 2 pitchers by that name. Even still, you yammer on about Noesi but knock Ramirez? Noesi isn’t that special. Noesi is more of an Aceves/Ramiro Mendoza type. Nova’s better.

  156. m March 21st, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Who cares about prospect lists? The only thing that really matters is how a player can help your major league team.

  157. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    “Come on! He was number one by default.”

    By this logic, Steven Strasburg is also not an elite prospect because the rest of the Nats top 10 prospects aren’t anything special.

    And by this logic, Roy Halladay being the Blue Jays best pitcher last year was a function of the rest of the staff being mediocre and in turn Halladay was simply “special” by default.

    Your getting caught up in one of the defects of ordinal scales when you focus on “top 10s” and draw inferences about any one player from the ones grouped with him.

  158. Zach March 21st, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Montero is too good to fail. He simply has too many tools in his favor. Deadly bat speed, plate discipline, line drives to all fields, etc.

    Even if he is a bust, how could he not be a contributing MLB player?

  159. Patrick March 21st, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    “Of the first basemen over the last 15-20 years, Pujols is the only one that I’d take ahead of Teixeira.”

    That’s pretty high praise but I’m not so sure I agree…

    Helton, Bagwell, Palmeiro, Thomas, McGwire, Thome

    Then some more recent comparisons would be Fielder, Howard, Cabrera

    I’d take all of them at the plate ahead of Teixeira. I guess if we are talking offense and defense I’d only choose Palmeiro, Bagwell and Helton ahead of Tex. Even then, guys like Thome, McGwire, Thomas have hall of fame careers because of their hitting. I’m not sure Tex is on their level.

  160. stuckey March 21st, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Montero is going to be managed by a pretty good defensive catcher himself.

    He’s going to be mentored by Alex Rodriquez, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira.

    Yikes…

  161. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Ok, Holy Yankees. Phil was the the #1 pitching prospect in baseball by default…….

  162. Patrick March 21st, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    HolyYankee,

    In 2006 and 2007 Hughes was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Some publications had him as the best pitching prospect in baseball.

  163. CB March 21st, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    “and even better, he’s a yankee”

    So true!

    It is so hard to believe that when the current hall of fame caliber catcher retires he may get replaced by a home grown player who has much better offensive tools.

  164. MTU(aka GBURL) March 21st, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Randy-

    “and even better, he’s a yankee”

    And even better than that
    he’s a yankee and he hits the ball hard. Very hard.Super hard.Extremely hard. Ultimo hard. Harder than diamond. Harder than hard. Really, really hard. :)

  165. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Ramirez just turned 20. You chose the wrong Jose Ramirez of the Yankees. They have 2 pitchers by that name. Even still, you yammer on about Noesi but knock Ramirez? Noesi isn’t that special. Noesi is more of an Aceves/Ramiro Mendoza type. Nova’s better.

    ==

    forget about two JR.

    Noesi is not that special? Nova is better? I dont get it.

    I offered no insult to Noesi, Nova and Ramirez. it is all about how Yankees handling them. I did not even knock Ramirez off.

  166. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 21st, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Even better, he’s a good kid who works hard………

  167. Nick in SF March 21st, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    How good could Hughes really be if he was in the same grouping as Tyler Clippard? What a dousing of cold water.

    Thank god we have Joba.

  168. GreenBeret7 March 21st, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Patrick
    March 21st, 2010 at 11:50 pm
    “Of the first basemen over the last 15-20 years, Pujols is the only one that I’d take ahead of Teixeira.”

    That’s pretty high praise but I’m not so sure I agree…

    Helton, Bagwell, Palmeiro, Thomas, McGwire, Thome

    Then some more recent comparisons would be Fielder, Howard, Cabrera

    I’d take all of them at the plate ahead of Teixeira. I guess if we are talking offense and defense I’d only choose Palmeiro, Bagwell and Helton ahead of Tex. Even then, guys like Thome, McGwire, Thomas have hall of fame careers because of their hitting. I’m not sure Tex is on their level.

    ————————————————————

    Yes, but, he’s still just 30 in April and with only 7 seasons behind him, his numbers are their equals. Thomas, I never considered a 1st baseman. Teixeira has a chance to top 500 homers and 1700 RBI with about a .290 average. He gets his walks, plats stellar defense, and, though he’s not fast, he’s a smart base runner.

  169. HolyYankee! March 21st, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    HolyYankee,

    In 2006 and 2007 Hughes was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Some publications had him as the best pitching prospect in baseball.

    ===

    I know. He was one of MLB top overall 5 in 2007. I just was disgusted with the rest of each list that Hughes dominated. Montero’s list looks better. Evidently, Cashman has done his job well since taking over the power from the boss.

  170. HolyYankee! March 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

    How good could Hughes really be if he was in the same grouping as Tyler Clippard? What a dousing of cold water.

    Thank god we have Joba.

    ==

    that and the best power was Eric Duncan.. what a bum

  171. Patrick March 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 am

    GB7,

    True, Thomas played a lot of DH but he did play the better part of 6 seasons at 1B. He played more DH than anything so it’s fair to take him off that list.

    Teixeira is very talented offensively and defensively but I’m not ready to put him ahead of sure-fire hall of famers yet.

    I think it’s a pretty big compliment that he’s even in the conversation, I’m glad he’s on the team.

  172. Mark D. March 22nd, 2010 at 12:03 am

    So where does Montero hit next year?

    7th? 8th? 9th? 5th?

  173. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 am

    This is Montero’s list:

    1. Jesus Montero, c
    2. Austin Romine, c
    3. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp
    4. Slade Heathcott, of
    5. Zach McAllister, rhp
    6. Manny Banuelos, lhp
    7. Gary Sanchez, c
    8. J.R. Murphy, c
    9. Jeremy Bleich, lhp
    10. Andrew Brackman, rhp

    Who on there is challenging Montero so that he is not number 1 by “default?”

  174. Kev March 22nd, 2010 at 12:04 am

    David Ortiz in his prime was a HOF-level 1st baseman as well. His prime didn’t last very long, much like Mattingly, but for his short prime, he was one of the top 3 or 4 hitters in baseball, certainly top among 1st baseman in the mid 2000s. A deadly bat in the clutch too.

  175. Rich in NJ March 22nd, 2010 at 12:05 am

    ” I just was disgusted with the rest of each list that Hughes dominated. Montero’s list looks better. Evidently, Cashman has done his job well since taking over the power from the boss.”

    BA’s Yankees Top Ten Prospects in 2007

    1. Philip Hughes, rhp
    2. Jose Tabata, of
    3. Dellin Betances, rhp
    4. Joba Chamberlain, rhp
    5. Ian Kennedy, rhp
    6. Chris Garcia, rhp
    7. Tyler Clippard, rhp
    8. J. Brent Cox, rhp
    9. Mark Melancon, rhp
    10. Brett Gardner, of

    That’s a pretty good top five.

  176. Patrick March 22nd, 2010 at 12:06 am

    “Who on there is challenging Montero so that he is not number 1 by “default?” ”

    Brackman if he can harness his stuff and learn to throw strikes.

    Heathcott and Sanchez have huge ceilings but are far too young to come close to Montero’s level anytime soon.

    Other than that, yeah, Montero is pretty much #1 by default.

  177. GreenBeret7 March 22nd, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Just looking at some career numbers, with Jeter at 224 homers, makes you wonder how far over 300 he gets. Same with his RBI. Even as a career 1-2 “singles hitter”, he has a shot at 1400 RBI. 2000 Runs scored, 600 doubles and 75 triples should be a near lock. That’s impressive by any hitter’s standards.

  178. Patrick March 22nd, 2010 at 12:08 am

    “David Ortiz in his prime was a HOF-level 1st baseman as well. ”

    He didn’t play 1B when he was hitting like you remember. Not even in the conversation as far as I’m concerned. Go read the list I posted a few minutes ago. I didn’t even mention guys like Giambi, Delgado, Lee, Berkman, etc All whom I would take over Ortiz.

  179. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 22nd, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Ortiz has only played 112 games at 1B since joining the Red Sox.

  180. Yanks 97 March 22nd, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Romine’s upside is Elston Howard
    Montero’s is Joe Dimaggio

    Thus, I’d argue the Montero-Romine gap is slightly more than the 2007 Hughes-Tabata gap.

  181. Rich in NJ March 22nd, 2010 at 12:11 am

    “Thus, I’d argue the Montero-Romine gap is slightly more than the 2007 Hughes-Tabata gap.”

    Even though Joba is in the 2007 group?

  182. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 22nd, 2010 at 12:13 am

    How good was Elston Howard? I have no idea what kind of comparison that is; I just know that Romine is a very good prospect. Also, Montero has DiMaggio upside? Isn’t that an exaggeration?

    The gap betwee Hughes and Tabata is pretty huge, but not that it matters; this is a pretty silly argument

  183. Nick in SF March 22nd, 2010 at 12:13 am

    What about the Tabata/Mrs. Tabata age gap?

  184. Betsy - Romine wasn't built in a day March 22nd, 2010 at 12:13 am

    That’s more like a generation gap, Nick.

  185. GreenBeret7 March 22nd, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Patrick
    March 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 am
    GB7,

    True, Thomas played a lot of DH but he did play the better part of 6 seasons at 1B. He played more DH than anything so it’s fair to take him off that list.

    Teixeira is very talented offensively and defensively but I’m not ready to put him ahead of sure-fire hall of famers yet.

    I think it’s a pretty big compliment that he’s even in the conversation, I’m glad he’s on the team.

    ————————————————————

    As long as he stays healthy, he has another 7 years to put up the magic numbers. Health and effectiveness will be all he needs.

    You have to have pity on the 2011 class of AL pitchers, though, that have to go through Jeter, Cano, Teixeira, Rodriguez, Montero and Posada plus whoever hits 2nd just to get to the weak part of the order. They’ll be tired out by then.

  186. Rich in NJ March 22nd, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I thought Tabata was really like 30.

  187. HolyYankee! March 22nd, 2010 at 12:18 am

    This is Montero’s list:

    1. Jesus Montero, c a step closer
    2. Austin Romine, c a step closer.
    3. Arodys Vizcaino, rhp replaced by David Phelph- 2 steps closer.
    4. Slade Heathcott, of- best all around prospect.
    5. Zach McAllister, rhp- a step closer.
    6. Manny Banuelos, lhp- top southpaw in business.
    7. Gary Sanchez, c – too soon to call but better ceiling than Montero.
    8. J.R. Murphy, c – same as Sanchez.
    9. Jeremy Bleich, lhp – two steps closer.
    10. Andrew Brackman, rhp – shot for next year.

    BA’s Yankees Top Ten Prospects in 2007

    1. Philip Hughes, rhp- MLB ready.
    2. Jose Tabata, of – poor analyzed by Yanks for power dept.
    3. Dellin Betances, rhp – farther below of the ladder.
    4. Joba Chamberlain, rhp – just drafted and MLB next year.
    5. Ian Kennedy, rhp – just drafted and MLB next year.
    6. Chris Garcia, rhp – struggling with health.
    7. Tyler Clippard, rhp – scrub starter in MLB.
    8. J. Brent Cox, rhp – confused guy.
    9. Mark Melancon, rhp – mechanic changed and TJS?.
    10. Brett Gardner, of – 4th-5th OF.

    montero blows away Hughes easily.

  188. HolyYankee! March 22nd, 2010 at 12:21 am

    So where does Montero hit next year?

    7th? 8th? 9th? 5th?

    ==

    I like to bat him between Arod and Posada.

  189. Rich in NJ March 22nd, 2010 at 12:23 am

    “I just was disgusted with the rest of each list that Hughes dominated. Montero’s list looks better. Evidently, Cashman has done his job well since taking over the power from the boss.”

    The issue, as you framed it, isn’t whether or not Montero is better than Hughes (that’s not debatable), it’s how the remainder of the list is.

    Joba’s presence makes the 2007 list better.

  190. GreenBeret7 March 22nd, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Betsy – Romine wasn’t built in a day
    March 22nd, 2010 at 12:13 am
    How good was Elston Howard? I have no idea what kind of comparison that is; I just know that Romine is a very good prospect. Also, Montero has DiMaggio upside? Isn’t that an exaggeration?

    The gap betwee Hughes and Tabata is pretty huge, but not that it matters; this is a pretty silly argument

    ————————————————————

    Ellie howard was a marvelous defensive and offensive catcher. His misfortune was coming up to the Yankees when they just didn’t sign black players because of a very racist GM and trying to get playing time behind a HOF catcher that caught about 145 games a year. He made himself a very good corner outfielder, hit for average, hit for power and one of the true gentlemen of the game. Everybody liked him, Mantle was especially close to him. He put a lot of years into the Negro Leagues and minors before getting a chance at age 26. He was a 2 time Gold Glove catcher, league MVP (first AL black to win), great game caller and played hurt.

  191. Jerkface March 22nd, 2010 at 12:32 am

    I know that the vast majority of guys – even hughely talented ones fail.

    Subconscious?

  192. Nick in SF March 22nd, 2010 at 12:49 am

    We fans expect so much from these kids, but really it’s jesust a very few who can fulphil their promise and get the joba done on the big stage.

  193. Patrick March 22nd, 2010 at 12:55 am

    True Nick. Not every prospect is a slam duncan.

  194. Rich in NJ March 22nd, 2010 at 1:00 am

    A lot of subliminal stuff going on…

  195. Phil the Thrill March 22nd, 2010 at 1:09 am

    I think ARod will probably teach him how to find some more back spin. I’m not worried at all about homers and Montero. Also, his power, such that it has been, has been suppressed by playing in 3 lousy hitters parks in a row in the minors.

  196. Phil the Thrill March 22nd, 2010 at 1:11 am

    Elston Howard was a great player. I believe his offensive splits were better when he played C, but he didn’t get to do that a lot till Yogi really slowed down. Had he played his whole career at C, he’d be in the Hall of Fame. He was one of those HoF type talents who sublimated himself to be a Yankee.

  197. steveoh March 22nd, 2010 at 2:51 am

    In case anyone missed it:

    SI_JonHeyman

    1. joba is out of #yanks rotation derby. RT @JackCurryYES: No Joba-Hughes showdown Mon. Hughes will face Phils. Joba will work intrasquad game

    http://twitter.com/SI_jonHeyman

    If Heyman doesn’t have solid info backing this up, he will look like a fool.

    If true, I’m a little surprised the decision was made this early. I thought it wouldn’t come until the end of the week. Kinda feel bad for Joba, but it’s hard to feel too bad for a guy that is likely going to make many millions anyway, even if he ends up “only” being a reliever for his career.

  198. m March 22nd, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I can’t read too much into it. I don’t think mother nature’s going to veer the Yankees off course (although she sure loves trying to).

    And it does seem crazy that Heyman would jump to that conclusion off of Curry’s tweet. But he’s done and said stupider things.

    They probably want to decide within the next couple of days, though. Season’s opener is only 2 weeks away.

    What would be interesting to know (maybe Sherman knows?) is if the Yankees had their meetings today (to presumably discuss the 5th starter.

  199. m March 22nd, 2010 at 4:24 am

    And sending Hughes to face the Phillies, was probably just keeping the original plan of Phil following AJ.

    Hopefully, mother nature decides to stay out of the picture tomorrow. :P

  200. blake March 22nd, 2010 at 7:30 am

    GB,
    There aren’t many 1b in recent years I would take over Teixera either. Pujols is a given but after that you can make a good argument for him. Combining his offensive and defensive abilities plus the flexibility the switch hitting provides and that a tough value to match.

  201. Rich in NJ March 22nd, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Among the non-Pujols 1Bman, if I couldn’t have Teix, I would take A-Gone.

  202. T-bone McGee March 22nd, 2010 at 8:09 am

    When a player’s numbers are posted like, “.375/.444/.625″, what does that mean? I know that the first number is his batting average. What about the next two? Thank you in advance for educating me.

  203. LGY - Child Prodigy/GB7's Bestest Buddy March 22nd, 2010 at 8:48 am

    The 2nd number is OBP and the third is SLG.

  204. T-bone McGee March 22nd, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Thank you, LGY.

  205. ko March 22nd, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    A hitter as good as Montero should be looking for another position, especially at his size. Catching wreaks havoc on the legs (the squatting gets the knees and makes the legs musclebound and heavy). Most catchers lose their legs (in a baseball sense) in their early thirties and decline rapidly. When you’re a great hitter, its a tragedy to be effectively done by age 32 or 33. I’d advise Montero to move, preferrably to the outfield (the Yankee Stadium right field is small and you don’t need any speed to play it). Looking at the Twins signing Joe Mauer to a ten year contract extension. The Twins should move him from behind the plate, no matter how good a catcher he is. He’s also a big guy and you don’t want him to lose it mid way thru his contract.


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